Strathclyde Park rowers ‘Hungary’ for medal glory at World Masters Regatta

Gillian Connal (right) is pictured with Strathclyde Park Rowing Club team-mate Ailie Ord (Submitted pic)
Gillian Connal (right) is pictured with Strathclyde Park Rowing Club team-mate Ailie Ord (Submitted pic)

Strathclyde Park Rowing Club members Ailie Ord and Gillian Connal were in sensational medal-winning form at the second biggest World Rowing Masters Regatta in history.

The local rowers excelled at the recent World Rowing Masters Regatta in Hungary, with over 3500 athletes, over 5000 entries and over 700 clubs in attendance from all continents.

An incredible 11 golds were garnered by veteran Ailie (57), who was competing in her 25th World Masters Regatta. Three of her golds this time were in partnership with Gillian (34).

Gillian told the Times and Speaker: “For such a small club to come seventh ladies team overall was a really, really good performance.

“A lot of it was down to Ailie. She smashed it in all the age categories.

“Ailie is strong and so experienced that you always know you’re with a safe pair of hands when rowing in the same team. When she is in the boat you always give it everything you have.

“The World Masters can be a nerve-racking event. When competitors are announced on the start line it is not Strathclyde Park which is your team name, it’s Great Britain.”

All women’s races during the five days of competition in Hungary were 1km long, with competitors ranging in age from 27 to 93!

Day one saw Gillian and clubmate Kelly Limond finish third and second respectively in their races in Women’s A1x.

The opening exchanges also saw GB’s Gavin Murty finish runner-up in the 750m before being part of the team which was third in the Men’s B8+. And day one ended with Ailie and Sally Pollok-Morris winning the Women’s D2x by over three seconds.

Day two started with Gillian as part of the Women’s C8+ crew who only missed out on gold by 0.7seconds.

Gavin and his squad were C4- runners-up before Gillian and Ailie won the Women’s B2-.

Another Strathclyde Park RC gold came via Kelly and Gillian in the Women’s A2x.

Ailie and Sally’s crew then landed the WD4+ crown.

On day three, Ailie and Gillian fought back to win the WC2- race before Ailie and Sarah Talbot landed gold in the WE2x contest.

The penultimate day of competition saw Ailie and Eva Rankin win WF2x, closely followed by WD2- gold from Sally and Ailie.

SPRC then completed a double double winning two events in WC2x – Gillian and Ailie winning one, and Kelly and Sally winning another.

The day continued on a high with Kelly winning WB1x by 2.6 seconds.

On the final day, Ailie completed her final tally of 11 golds by winning at G4x, F2x and G8+ levels.

Kelly and Gavin won an A2x race and Gillian joined up with a friend from Chile to win in B2x.

SPRC members are now preparing for the winter season of competition.